Tell us a bit about yourself and STEM: Epic heroes.
My name is Aaron Hanna and I was the Designer and Creative Director for STEM: Epic Heroes: a fun, simple, fast-paced card game for 2-4 players where you team up with the greatest minds in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in an epic race to make discoveries.
STEM began with a simple thought, “What if all the great historical figures of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics were reimagined as superheroes?” Entertainers, athletes, and fictitious characters are celebrated as heroes all the time. Why not celebrate some of humanity’s most mind blowing achievements and play our part in inspiring the future of discovery. So we decided to make a fun and simple game that everyone could enjoy.
My friend and colleague, Jason Jones, approached me to work on STEM around Sep 2016, but he had been tinkering with it for quite a while at that point. He wrote an article about it here – https://medium.com/@jason_48694/the-untold-story-behind-stem-epic-heroes-d8b4b05c2bb2.
What did you do to build up a following before you launched STEM?
We held local playtests. We posted up at local game stores and invited everyone that walked by to play. We played in public, which usually led to people asking what it was. We spent a ton of time on social media, showing our artwork and asking people to sign up for our email list to get reminded when we launched on KS. We also ran Facebook/Instagram ads with varying success. We reached out to any STEM communicator that would respond and asked them to contribute ideas for Heroes or give feedback on the art style. We also asked them to commit to posting on launch day.
When did you launch and why did you choose that exact moment?
The exact day was not super important to us. Our research into the subject was met with seemingly valid arguments for almost every day of the week. We chose a Tuesday that was after payday, in hopes that we would get early momentum. As far as September, we had some marketing partners with educator audiences, so we waited until after school started so the email didn’t hit a dead inbox.
What is your best marketing tip during a campaign?
Don’t stop marketing. Write updates, reach out to news outlets, blogs, and social personalities. Find online communicators that have an audience that will like your game and try to add value to their content. BGG ads were very successful for us. Interact with your audience.
What is your main tip to handle the mid-campaign drop of new backers?
We were lucky to never really experience a plateau. Pledges definitely slowed down after the first few days, but we just kept reaching out to new places to try and get the word out.
You had a major bump in your kicktraq graph on day 9. What happened?
We had a backer pledge $2500 for our highest pledge level.
How do you structure your days during the campaign?
Not a ton of structure. We sent thank you messages to new pledges, answered questions, and try to stay on top of the campaign, etc. Then spend all other available time trying to get more attention off KS.
What’s the best kickstarter advice you ever received?
Stand up for your product / campaign. You will have complainers, but most backers will respect you for defending your game and choices. Also have a plan for how to promote positive comment engagement if you get some negative people trying to dominate the conversation.
Where can people reach you?
I’m @theaaronhanna on Social Media.